Planning for Penfield Library moves forward

Some alumni remember when the library was in “Old Main.” Others helped it move to what is now Rich Hall in the historic “Book Brigade” of 1961 under Librarian Helen Hagger. Still more recall long nights in the 24-hour room at the current location.

Now the campus is envisioning the Penfield Library of the future. One concept shows Penfield connected with Lanigan by way of a glassed-in multistory atrium.

Tom Simmonds ’84, M ’88, associate vice president for facilities services, said it’s important to understand how a rejuvenated Penfield would fit in programmatically with its concrete-and-glass neighbors.

Along with Penfield Library, planners are focusing on the Hewitt Academic Quad, Simmonds said. Facilities and building development, common programming and delivery, as well as exterior site development are all being considered as the quad is planned.

The process of determining Penfield’s future began half a dozen years ago when the college began a visioning project for the 115,000-square-foot, 450,000-volume library. Some improvements — a new roof, a new elevator and new carpet in the library’s upstairs corners — were accomplished this summer.

Penfield and Lanigan’s futures need to be in correlation with Tyler and Mahar halls, along with Hewitt Union’s future. Also, with the library’s close ties to rapidly changing technology, there may be many changes yet to come during subsequent planning phases.

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